The Saint Bernard, also called the St. Bernhardshund and the Alpine Mastiff, is a large working group dog that developed in Switzerland. They were originally used by monks to locate missing travelers. Today this breed is used for search and rescue as well as for pets.
The Saint Bernard is a large dog that stands between 24 and 28 inches tall and weighs between 110 and 200 pounds. You may best remember the St. Bernard as the type of dog Cujo was. They have a short to medium long coat that comes in multi-color patterns of orange, brindle, red, white, and black.
Beethoven, the famous movie dog that captured every family’s hearts is a Saint Bernard. The Saint Bernard is an enormous dog with a shaggy coat that varies in length.
They have endearing saggy faces with adorable droopy eyes. Adult Saint Bernards are laid-back and they seem to follow you around, constantly wanting to accompany you.
The Saint Bernard breed is not for everybody. Owning one is a commitment and the breed is for absolute animal lovers because they can be very high maintenance. People who have trained and managed their Saint Bernards properly will have very rewarding experiences with the canine.
Saint Bernards are dependable and loyal creatures. They are great family dogs and thrive in human companionship. They don’t want to be left alone. Saint Bernards are miserable without their owners. A large family will be most beneficial for this breed because there will always be people around.
As pups, Saint Bernards are more expressive with their excitement. They are very active and awfully charming. They are large clumsy puppies and they will often use their girth to get their way.
The key to having a manageable Saint Bernard is through socializing, training and curbing unpleasant behavior as early as possible. While they are still young they must be socialized with members of the family. Gradually, they will develop sense of familiarity with his “pack”.
The next thing, and maybe the most important, is obedience and house training your young Saints. It is imperative that owners should potty train them. Give the dog a designated area to eliminate their wastes.
Detect the signs they display when they have the urge to go. Immediately place them to the designated area and stay with them until they finish the deed. Do this consistently until they get used to the idea. Always shower them with vocal praises like “Good Dog!” or show some physical affection after every successful endeavor.
Obedience training is not an option for Saint Bernards; it is a necessity. Basic commands like sit, stand, heel, and come must be implemented to make them manageable. Curb bad behavior by consistently and firmly saying “No!” when disagreeable deeds are done. Be assertive but never harsh. Compliance must be lavishly praised. Saint Bernards are very intelligent and they will catch up in no time.
When they grow up to their gigantic sizes, they will be easier to manage because the early training had conditioned their mindsThe vet will surely thank your determination.
Saint Bernards need regular exercise to keep them fit. They tend to be lazy on their own but they won’t shy away from physical work out if they are accompanied by their owners. Grooming must also be done regularly. Brush their coats frequently to cope with their shedding.
Saint Bernards drool a lot and you must learn to embrace this. It is in their nature.
Spread their feedings into two to three small meals a day. They prone to bloat and may cause serious health problems if not dealt accordingly. Always feed them high-grade dog food which tends to provide better nutrition for your Saint.
Overall, Saint Bernards are devoted and loving dogs. Dealing with them needs patience and determination and when done, as it should be, they are a joy to be around. Their companionship and dependability is worthwhile.